Mummichog

Keys History Question

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Anyone know the history of these canals on Grassy Key, near Marathon?  How’d they get there?  Why are they there?  Why were they made with no access to the Gulf?  My best guess is that someone was planning on building and the land got designated as a nature preserve or something.

D11F9FAE-96ED-4B9F-8B53-B8BAF59FD1EE.png

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I don't know about Grassy Key specifically but there are a few possible reasons.

 

One is a contractor started a project but didn't grease the right people. I was fishing in Key Largo once and met a local guy and asked him about the strange canals he had next to his house. He said there is a lot of corruption in the area. Especially with the Ocean Reef Club aholes who have stupid amounts of money. Apparently, years ago, people started canal projects but didn't get their paperwork approved by the right people. The contractors dug out the canals but after their paperwork was rejected, they created a barricade to prevent them from being used. Hence landlocked canals. That's at least what I was told.

 

Second reason is gov't grabs. I think the gov't came in and bought up property years ago to prevent over-development and environmental damage to the region. It's a fragile environment with unique ecosystems. Also, there are too many people, there is only one road out. The keys are essentially maxed out. The gov't and locals don't want people moving there. At one point, some areas might have been private property but later got turned into NWR land after a hurricane bombed the area out.

 

Lastly, and I don't think this applies to the canals you posted about, is quarrying. Back in the day, the center of some of the keys were mined out for rock to build the Flagler railroad bridges. If you've ever been to Bahia Honda key, there is a quarry in the back that goes pretty deep. There are giant  grouper down there by the way. Another quarry is the horseshoe right after Bahia Honda. The swimming hole on Ramrod Key. There is a large one located in the Key Deer Wildlife Refuge on No Name key.

Edited by Mr. Sophistication

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you could be right on the old quarry in the original picture as well.  Look at Grassy Key on google maps with satellite turned on, It looks like there are several old quarry's.

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8 hours ago, towpro said:

you could be right on the old quarry in the original picture as well.  Look at Grassy Key on google maps with satellite turned on, It looks like there are several old quarry's.

There are quarries scattered all throughout the keys. The Blue Hole on Big Pine is another one. The one on No Name Key is the most interesting. All of the mining equipment is still back there rotting in the tropical sun. Cranes and heavy equipment. There are fish that live in there.

 

The keys have all sorts of mysteries and history. I once saw monkeys running around on Sugarloaf key. I assume they escaped from the research program they housed on Lois Key.

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You know your stuff , I’ve been to quite a few of the spots you referenced. Lots of interesting areas in the Keys , some of which your better off not poking around in LoL If I’m not mistaken , I remember a local cat I know mention a “ Monkey Key “ south of Big Pine where I stay & fish out of when I get down there. No Name is a real cool spot as well as my favorite , the Content Keys . Was down in late Feb/ early March just before the sh t hit the fan , hoping to get back down in the fall . Thanks for sharing your knowledge , you know your stuff . 

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